U.S. 7th Fleet, ROK Navy Bands Make Sweet Music Together in Seoul
Stripes Korea | .
published: May 06, 2016
The U.S. Seventh Fleet Band joined the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy Band for a combined concert in Seoul, April 28.
The band, composed of 20 professional Navy musicians played a range of genres ranging from classical to pop and rock.
“This is my 4th time performing alongside the ROK Navy band,” said Lt. Brian Chaplow, 7th Fleet Band Master. “This is like a brotherhood of music and we’re here to put on a great show.”
With barriers of language and distance, the bands overcame their difficulties in communication, through music.
Communication was difficult at first,” said Sang Won Jee, a concert staff member. “When putting this concert together, the only correspondence we shared was through email. Once we sent the Americans the sheet music though, they gave 100 percent satisfaction.”
Sang said as both bands played, they seemed like they’d been playing together for a long time. After the concert was over, band members shook hands and congratulated each other as if they were all old friends.
“My favorite part of the show was when they played ‘Espirit de Corps’, said Sang. “I think it was very meaningful to both bands and represented the strength of the ROK/US alliance. Though the practice and preparation for the concert was hard, I hope both ROK and U.S. do more concerts in Korea. The audience really enjoyed it and I think they want to see more”
Fleet Band members also thought the concert was a success. They enjoy the camaraderie and fun of making music together.
“I think the concert was an absolute success,” said Senior Chief Musician Guy Gregg, 7th Fleet Band senior enlisted leader. “The thousands of people who got to see the concert live, on TV or online see the fun that we are having. They get so see the joy of making music together. We’re developing and making new friendships. We’re strengthening our relationship through music”.
The U.S. Navy 7th Fleet Band was created in 1943 with the establishment of the U.S. Navy 7th Fleet and has performed for thousands of audiences throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
The band is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, and embarks aboard USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), flagship for the U.S. 7th Fleet, during patrols and deployments. The 7th Fleet band also conducts theater security cooperation engagements independently from the 7th Fleet staff in Korea and in other locations across the region.